DESCRIBE THE FINANCIAL & POLITICAL PROBLEMS FACING THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT BEFORE 1789

Good Essays
The French government had many problems financially and politically before 1789 that built up over a number of years and a number of monarchs. The problems stemmed from a growing disorder in the finances, aristocratic privileges, new revolutionary philosophies, power struggles, and a weak monarch.

Due to lengthy and very costly wars, Louis XIV and Louis XV played a big hand in bankrupting France. The French had suffered big defeats and therefore had lost men and supplies. They also failed to gain any territory. France suffered defeat in the Seven Years War against Britain, had its army crushed by the Prussians and was unsuccessfully involved in the American War in an attempt to seek revenge on Britain.

It was not only these extravagant costs of very unsuccessful wars, but France's whole financial system was extremely inefficient. At the forefront of the system were ministers. During the American War, Jacques Necker was made Director-General of Finance because of his ability to obtain loans for use in paying for the war. Necker did this successfully, but he lied about France's financial surplus and had everyone believing that France could spend money when, in reality, it was in huge debt, and therefore he allowed Ministers of War to spend non-existent money. Due to this, debts just continued to mount unknowingly to the rest of France, and around fifty percent of income was needed to pay for interests on loans and money spent. Necker was dismissed in 1781 and the politics and efficiency of the French financial system was unstable for years after that, with ministers resigning or being released, and the parlements even being exiled from Paris and government paralysed which led to the reformation of the Estates General that produced the cahiers list of complaints towards the king.

The French Government desperately needed to introduce tax reform into its system. The clergy were exempt from all taxes; the nobles paid little tax and all the taxes were placed on the

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The French Revolution 1789 Louis XIV left a huge debt for France. After him came Louis XV who brought some peace but could not stop the debt from building up. He ruled for 59 years in a very lazy manner and lost the support of his people. He kept borrowing more leading to higher interest rates and also refused to economize accordingly to avert crises. Then came Louis XVI who married Marie Antoinette of Austria. She was made a general target by the public because of the deteriorating relations with…

    • 658 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The French Revolution of 1789-1799 is one of the most important events in history. The Revolution led to many changes in France. It created new definitions and new ideas to the political ideas of the people. France was the strongest European force and the war changed their outlook on ideas. The French Revolution lasted for a long period of ten years. The primary cause of the revolution was the disagreements on ideas of reform. No official power was corrupt, but the whole system of government needing…

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    French Revolution 1789

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Paris and Revolution in the countryside III. Principles of 1789 IV. The October Days I. From Estates General to National Assembly • Harvest Crisis: Popular (higher classes) had riots o French army was already stretched, state reluctant to use it o Cahier delonces created HUGE expectations on the Estates-General, “the great hope” • 1789 characterized by new sovereignty and also violence • Euphoria of deputies turned to frustration o Deputies missed opportunity to assert leadership while King…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    French Society of 1789

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages

    What was wrong with French Society in 1789? After the death of Louis XV, his grandchild Louis XVI was appointed to rule over the people but his lack of ability to rule like a liege over the country plunge France into chaos, directing France towards a Revolution; The French Revolution. In France the French society was divided into three estates; The First Estate consisted of Clergy which had a population of 100,000 people, Second Estate consisted of Nobility which had a population of 400,000 people…

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    period 1689-1789, to what extent was the French Revolution mainly a product of economic distress? Taxation system • Governments benefit from a well-organized and efficient taxation system. The taxation system in France is best described as being diabolical, the taxation system was burdensome upon the middle class and the more prosperous peasants, given that the nobles were largely able to exempt themselves from it. • The fundamental fiscal problem in France was structural. The government primarily…

    • 865 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    GOVERNMENT’S FINANCIAL CHALLENGES A fresh look at local government’s deliver obligations and resource requirements is needed. HILDEGARDE FAST makes the case for a differentiated approach. It is common knowledge that many municipalities in South Africa are financially in dire straits. In the public discourse, the focus is often on operational issues such as poor revenue collection, unsustainable debt burdens, and lack of financial management capacity. In seeking to understand the financial challenges…

    • 2185 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    French Government

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages

    interest to find and agreement that satisfies all parties. The French government’s BATNA is very weak as well. The French government could choose to disregard the positions and interests of the Mayors as well. However, appearing to be disloyal to the communes would lead to severe political issues across the country. Also, if the project did not progress smoothly it would risk the time, effort and capital invested by the government. Lastly, issues with the Mouse project could negatively impact…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Facing Problems

    • 210 Words
    • 1 Page

    Facing Problems Facing problem in our society can be met with human service help. They help people with the problem of addiction and those who are struggling with many types of addiction, such as to alcohol or gambling. They evaluate clients’ needs and then direct clients to rehabilitation facilities, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, that can best meet those needs. They also refer clients to groups or programs to help clients get support outside of treatment. Some human…

    • 210 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Berlin 6 The French Revolution of 1789 consisted of many aspects which led to the movement. Both long-term and immediate causes bequeathed to its triumph. The Enlightenment bestowed a new concept of government and society. America also influenced the nation’s controversial revolt. Many actions contributed to the French Revolution of 1789; according to an excerpt from Travels in France by Arthur Young. (Document 1) Observations made by this traveler from the years 1787 to 1789 encompass the immense…

    • 335 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Social factors contributed to the French Revolution of 1789 Although social tensions within France certainly contributed to the revolutionary situation in August 1789 it was not the only contributing factor. Divisions and inequality between, as well as within, the Three Estates created an atmosphere of disharmony while the influence of the enlightenment and liberal ideas fueled the growing discontent of the Estates toward the government and Louis XVI. However, political factors, like the undermining…

    • 1001 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays